European and international issues
Public service work at federal and Land levels has become much more international. A major share of German legislation is based directly or indirectly on European Union legislation, which has an impact on the federal administration.
The cross-border tasks of the Federal Office of Administration are diverse. For example, it has been providing advice to prospective emigrants already since its foundation in 1960. Since 1968, the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA) of the BVA has been supporting German schools worldwide on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office.
The BVA closely cooperates with the European Commission and Member States' authorities, for example within the framework of the European citizens' initiative, the Internal Market Information System (IMI), EU Twinning projects, and in the context of public security issues, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) and the European Visa Information System (VIS).
Furthermore, the BVA manages grants from the federal budget and ESF funding: It is responsible for managing 40 per cent of all ESF funded federal programs. Projects, such as ‘Citizen's Work’ or the ‘Continuing Education Grant’, are thus a central component of EU social policy to reduce social inequality in EU Member States.
The Federal Office of Administration officially certifies signatures and German official documents for use outside Germany and issues apostille on federal documents for use in accession countries of the Hague Convention.
As an ESF audit body, the Federal Office of Administration (division VMB 8) examines, on behalf of the audit authority of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the effective functioning of the management and control system used to implement ESF funding programmes subject to the areas of responsibility of different federal ministries
The ESF certification authority at the Federal Office of Administration has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS) which is responsible for the operational programme of the Federal Government as a whole to perform tasks on their behalf.
The Federal Office of Administration (BVA) is the ESF managing authority. It is responsible for the planning, implementation and accounts of funding programmes.
EU Twinning projects are partnership projects which were launched by the European Commission in 1998, initially as a pre-accession instrument designed to assist future member states in the preparation of their EU membership. Nevertheless, the concept of EU Twinning has additionally been used in countries without any prospects of accession since 2002 and thus evolved into an institution building instrument.
Since 1 April 2012, the Lisbon Treaty introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping. EU citizens have the opportunity to launch a so-called European Citizens' Initiative to invite the European Commission to bring forward proposals for legal acts in all policy areas where the Commission has the power to do so.